The Application of Humanized Mouse Models for the Study of Human Exclusive Viruses

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1656:1-56. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7237-1_1.


The symbiosis between humans and viruses has allowed human tropic pathogens to evolve intricate means of modulating the human immune response to ensure its survival among the human population. In doing so, these viruses have developed profound mechanisms that mesh closely with our human biology. The establishment of this intimate relationship has created a species-specific barrier to infection, restricting the virus-associated pathologies to humans. This specificity diminishes the utility of traditional animal models. Humanized mice offer a model unique to all other means of study, providing an in vivo platform for the careful examination of human tropic viruses and their interaction with human cells and tissues. These types of animal models have provided a reliable medium for the study of human-virus interactions, a relationship that could otherwise not be investigated without questionable relevance to humans.

Keywords: Animal models; Disease Models; Human; Humanized mice; Immune system; Viruses.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Virus Diseases* / genetics
  • Virus Diseases* / immunology
  • Virus Diseases* / pathology
  • Virus Physiological Phenomena*
  • Viruses / genetics
  • Viruses / immunology*